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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
Death Wish
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

So Lost gets two hours of "the story so far" before its finale. We get a bearded and besuited Kiefer, standing in front of the 24 logo, wishing us a good evening and thanking us all for our "tremendous support and enthusiasm." I actually think he means your tremendous support and enthusiasm; I get paid. He says it's been the opportunity of a lifetime for himself, "And I am eternally grateful." Oh, does everyone get to share their feelings? "Enjoy the final two hours of 24," he says, so I guess that tells us what our feelings are going to be.

In this last set of previouslies freeze-frames: Jack Bauer, President Allison Taylor, Chloe O'Brian, President Charles Logan, and Russian President Yuri Suvarov. A president-heavy gang this time around. The following takes place between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM, and here's something we haven't been reminded of at the beginning of an episode in a long while: events occur in real time. Aw, it's gonna make me cry!

Cole is driving along in his CTU sedan when Arlo calls from the CTU floor with some news: "Jack murdered Novakovich at his hotel and six of his security guards." And then disappeared again. He didn't even leave a trail of bloody footprints? Arlo's got his doubts about this little project after seeing photographs of what he describes as a slaughterhouse. "Does Chloe really still think she can pull this off?" Cole says no one else can, and if she can't, they'll do what it takes to stop him. "Even when Novakovich's whole security staff couldn't?" Arlo asks. That's actually a really good point. Cole says they don't have many other options, and anyway he's almost at Jim's building. Arlo tells him to be careful; Jim won't like being found. "I'm not expecting him to," Cole says. He pulls into a spot outside Jim's place, and if he can deal with paranoid, heavily armed loners as well as he can parallel park, he doesn't have a thing to worry about.

Inside, Jim is watching the news reports about the signing. Apparently there will be a press conference after the signing ceremony, in a nice, exposed, outdoor location at the U.N. Plaza Gardens. Jim grimaces ruefully at the photo cards of Dalia, Taylor, and Suvarov up on the screen, all of whom will probably be either sworn enemies or dead by the end of the day. Then he gets a "security alert" on one of his monitors, throws on his jacket, and taps a few keys on his keyboard. The hallway camera starts doing its facial recognition thing, and Jim learns that his visitor's name is Cole Ortiz while Cole is creeping up the hallway, gun at the ready. Jim does something that causes a screen to read "INITIATE GLOBAL SYSTEM WIPE" (and there goes all his porn) while Cole pulls out a magical infrared scope to point at the hallway wall. That tells him exactly where in the techno-sanctum Jim is, and better yet it tells Cole that he's alone in there. Cole bangs on the door just as the wipe finishes (whereas in my house, a bang on the door is usually a signal that it's time for the wiping to begin) and calls Jim's name. When there's no immediate answer, Cole takes a shotgun and blasts open all three of Jim's locks like he knows exactly where they are. Then he kicks open the door and points the weapon inside, only to see Jim pointing his own handgun right back at him. Cole lays it out for Jim: if Cole doesn't make a call in fifteen minutes, every intelligence agency in the country hears about Jim. "Or you can help us find Jack Bauer and we'll keep our mouths shut." Jim just squints at him. Michael Madsen is a world-class squinter, even when he doesn't have anything to squint about. Cole makes a persuasive argument that Jim isn't protecting Kiefer like he thinks he is, since Kiefer's on the shoot-to-kill list. "He knew what he was getting himself into," Jim shrugs. Cole has also done his homework, and knows that Kiefer saved Jim's life in Damascus. "This is your opportunity to pay back that debt. You know how this is going to end, right?" "Do you?" Jim asks. Snappy comeback. In answer, Cole lowers his gun and says, "If Jack dies today, it's on you." He turns to go, but Jim tells him to wait. They always do, in the end.

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